QR Codes Decoded

They are seen on billboards, menus, t-shirts and catalogs. Small black and white squares that seem quite ugly and pointless to those that don’t understand them. With the right application, though, these mysterious little boxes are quite useful.

The patterned boxes are called QR codes, which stands for “quick response” codes. These QR codes are a type of matrix barcode, consisting of up to 31,329 squares in the 177×177 version. Most QR codes are a 25×25 square version that contain only 625 squares and can store 20-47 characters, both alphabetical and numerical, but enough with the numbers. Quick response codes are exactly that: quick alternatives to typing in a long website URL. The codes are to be scanned with smartphone apps that will then direct the user to the specified site. Some recommended apps are  “QR Scanner” for the iPhone and “Barcode Scanner” for Android. Both apps are free and are easy to use. Just download, scan, and enjoy the hidden link within!

Creating your own QR code is also very easy. Just find the URL of the website you want to link to, and paste it into the correct spot on this easy site! Choose your size and click Generate. Voilá! A custom, unique, and fancy QR code that keeps you right up with the times.

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